Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Austin Intel Bites the Dust

About 7:30 AM last Sunday the unfinished Intel building in downtown Austin was reduced to a heap of concrete and steel with the help of over 700 pounds of explosives. The demolition makes way for the new Federal Court House to be built on the site between 4th and 5th streets.
This old shell has stood on this location for many years as a visual reminder of the tech bust. Seems a shame just to implode it, as it looks like it could have been finished as Class A office space.

The demolition company that brought it down said it was particularly difficult because it was designed to support 10 stories but, only four were complete, which meant they did not have the weight of these upper floors to help flatten everything. I think this was a first for Austin.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Longest Embrace

The BBC story below has been in the news lately but, here it is in case you missed it. To me, it is one of the most touching photos I have ever seen. The human skeleton normally evokes images of violence, murder, B-grade horror movies, or Halloween. Here we have a beautiful image of a young couple locked in a 5,000 year embrace. Maybe I am outing myself as a sentimental old fool but, to me, it is just nice.

I find myself torn between a scientific curiosity to know what happened to these two, and desire to simply leave this image intact. Knowing they are just bones, and having no superstitious, spiritual beliefs, why would I care? I would prefer to say I don't but, for some reason, I do - shrug.

Ancient skeletons embracing
Archaeologists in Italy discovered a pair of 5000-6000 year old skeletons embracing.
The pair, almost certainly a man and a woman, are thought to have died young as their teeth were mostly intact, said chief archaeologist Elena Menotti...
"It's an extraordinary case," said Ms Menotti. "There has not been a double burial found in the Neolithic period, much less two people hugging - and they really are hugging," she told Reuters news agency.
Flint tools, including arrowheads and a knife, were also found alongside the couple. Link to the full BBC story.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Guitar Town Austin

Today, I mainly wanted to let everyone know about a something very cool going on in Austin, as well as, remind you of the blog belonging to some of our friends here in Austin. First, Guitar Town Austin which is sponsored by Gibson Guitars. Ten foot tall, artistically decorated Gibson Guitars are displayed all over Austin. These will later be auctioned off to benefit four Austin charities. Check out the web site and see all the designs - some are amazing. Here are a couple we snapped with the phone cam down on the hike and bike trail:

In a previous post, I pointed you to the blog of our friends from the UK, Jo and Alan Hunter who have some really great photos which Jo updates regularly. There are some new photos posted today, as well as some observations they have made of the differences in life between the US and the UK. They are interesting to read and, if you go back in the archives a little way, see what they had to go through trying to set up housekeeping here with no Social Security Number! Life is tough until you get that SSN!

On an unrelated subject, I wonder how many of the "Ditto Heads" have pulled their heads out of the sand now that the climate reports have made it official that global warming is real and caused by man? I know a few I need to ask.

Until next time -

Here's to you Molly, we already miss you.